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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Themba Gorimbo sees himself as reasonable headliner for UFC Africa

LAS VEGAS – Themba Gorimbo got here out victorious Saturday at UFC Struggle Night time 241 to high off an emotional week.

On the primary card on the UFC Apex, Gorimbo (13-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC) defeated Ramiz Brahimaj (10-5 MMA, 2-3 UFC), however did so with a heavy coronary heart after the loss of life of his coach’s mom. The tragedy catalyzed unwavering willpower and energy.

“I don’t suppose he took me down,” Gorimbo informed MMA Junkie and different reporters at a post-fight information convention. “I believe each time he tried to take me down, I remembered my coach and the sacrifice that he made. I mentioned, ‘Nope.’ I remembered the sacrifice that he made. That’s why he didn’t take me down. Each time, he didn’t take me down. My takedown protection was strong. I took him down. I may’ve carried out extra if I wished to. However for this struggle, I used to be working extra on defensive wrestling than attacking wrestling. As a result of I wished to knock him out. What I’m doing is being grateful for the win. That’s crucial factor.”

Gorimbo wished a spectacular end however didn’t get it. Since he defeated Brahimaj by unanimous determination, Gorimbo didn’t suppose he was able to name his subsequent shot. As an alternative, he outlined a roadmap of places for his subsequent fights.

Gorimbo plans to struggle on the UFC Apex once more, after which maybe he’ll be aligned to headline the primary UFC occasion in Africa. He considers himself the perfect candidate for the place.

“I’ve heard the rumors they’re going with a Struggle Night time first once they do go,” Gorimbo mentioned. “At a Struggle Night time, there’s no titles wanted. So I’ve to make my method up and predominant occasion an Apex present. From there, I’ll predominant occasion the primary African present as a result of I’m an enormous inspiration to the African fighters due to the place I come from. I earned my spot to be right here. I didn’t have something. I labored my ass off to be right here. I sacrificed. I nagged my supervisor day by day to be right here within the UFC. If an African baby can perhaps take a web page out of my story, to attempt to make it right here, I’m the right man to ask. Should you take heed to me and also you attempt to do what I do, you is perhaps up there or simply land within the UFC.

“I really feel like I want to try this to encourage a variety of different African youngsters. I respect the blokes who got here earlier than me, Izzy (Adesanya), Kamaru (Usman), the historical past he made, (Francis) Ngannou, the historical past he made, Dricus (Du Plessis) with the championship that he has. I respect that. However with regards to the man who can really relate much more than something, I’m not disrespecting the blokes, however I come from the gutters of Africa, the gutters of Africa. I can perhaps flip a web page and attain the brand new market the UFC wants to achieve.”

In Gorimbo’s thoughts there’s a distinction between a job mannequin and an inspiration. He considers himself the latter, however not the previous.

“I’m not a man that could be a position mannequin,” Gorimbo mentioned. “I’m simply Themba Gorimbo. That’s what I’m happy with firstly. … Once I sit at house, earlier than sleeping at house in my mattress, I replicate, and I don’t make the identical errors once more. So I’m not a job mannequin, however I need to be an inspiration and I believe I’m. … I’m inspiration greater than a job mannequin.”

Whereas no clear timeline has been introduced by the UFC for its Africa debut, firm CEO Dana White has repeatedly expressed curiosity in an occasion there. In December, he revealed the promotion expects the primary UFC occasion on that continent to happen in both South Africa, Rwanda, or Nigeria.

For extra on the cardboard, go to MMA Junkie’s occasion hub for UFC Struggle Night time 241.

Be sure you go to the MMA Junkie Instagram web page and YouTube channel to debate this and extra content material with followers of blended martial arts.

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